Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Market Glut

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A quarterly Wall Street Journal survey of housing data in 28 major metro areas shows that the glut of unsold homes listed for sale is shrinking in most of them. In many cases, sales have been stimulated by investors who are grabbing what they see as bargains on homes that can be turned into rentals. Metro areas with the biggest drops in for-sale signs include Sacramento and Orange County in California and the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

The recent headlines give a mixed picture. On Monday, the Census Bureau reported that new home sales in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000 units, down 33% from September 2007. The median sales price for new homes in September was $218,400, down 9% from a year earlier. Last week, the National Association of Realtors said sales of previously occupied homes in September edged up 1.4% from the depressed year-earlier level, the first such rise since November 2005, largely reflecting sales of foreclosed homes.

Housing analysts caution that many homes that aren't currently listed for sale may hit the market in the next year or two. This looming supply includes pending foreclosures and homes temporarily taken off the market while their owners await stronger demand. With banks chopping prices on foreclosed homes, other sellers are giving up and taking their homes off of the market.

Meanwhile, credit remains tight, consumer confidence is crumbling, and job losses are removing some potential buyers from the market while pushing others toward foreclosure.

Mortgage rates jumped Monday amid continued turmoil in the credit markets. Some mortgage firms quoted rates of 6.5% or more for standard 30-year fixed-rate loans. That was up from an average of 6.2% last week.

Despite all the gloom and doom, some people believe it isn't too early to pick up bargains. One key, they say, is a deep understanding of the local demand for rental housing.

You can't go wrong if you use the basic math. As yourself, or better do some research on how much you can you the property for. If the yearly rent = 10% of what you pay for the property, then it is worth looking into.

Now is the time to pick up rentals and invest, every 3/2 that you pick up below $145.000 and that you can rent at $1,300 a month is worth considering. Even if you don't count on making 12 months rent but just 11 months that is still an income of $14,300.
Now deduct insurance and taxes, say $4,300 then you're left with $10,000 0r 6.9% return on investment. Not bad in today's market add to this the fact that you have picked this home up at a bargain price. You can't go wrong.


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Monday, October 27, 2008

This Week's Financial Advice For Joe the Plumber

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This week is packed with economic releases and major events that will likely lead to a fair amount of volatility in the markets and mortgage pricing. There are seven reports scheduled for release along with another FOMC meeting.
The first of the week's news comes late tomorrow morning with the release of September's New Home Sales. This data covers the remaining 15% of home sales that last week's Existing Home Sales report tracked and is this week's least important data. It is expected to show a decline in sales, but regardless of its results I am not expecting it to have a significant impact on mortgage rates tomorrow.

The first important data will be posted Tuesday morning with the release of the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for the month of October. This Conference Board index will be posted at 10:00 AM and gives us a measurement of consumer willingness to spend. It is expected to show a sizable decline in confidence from last month's 59.8 reading, indicating that consumers are less likely to make large purchases in the near future. As long as the reading doesn't exceed the forecasted 52.0, we will likely see the bond market react favorably to this report. This data is watched closely because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy.

The week's FOMC meeting is a two-day meeting that begins Tuesday and adjourns Wednesday afternoon. Assuming the Fed stands pat and leaves rates unchanged, traders will be looking at the post-meeting statement for any indication of the Fed's next move. Since there is a fair amount of uncertainty and a lack of a strong consensus of what the Fed will do here, the move itself, if it happens, will likely cause plenty of volatility in addition to the post-meeting statement. The meeting will adjourn at 2:00 PM Wednesday, so look for quite a bit of volatility during afternoon hours.

Wednesday morning, the Commerce Department will post Durable Goods Orders for September. This report gives us a measurement of manufacturing sector strength by tracking orders at U.S. factories for big-ticket items. Analysts are currently calling for a drop in new orders of approximately 1.0%. If we see a smaller than expected decline in orders, mortgage rates will probably rise as bond prices fall. A weaker than expected reading should be good news for the bond market and mortgage rates, but this data can be quite volatile from month to month and is difficult to forecast.

The next relevant data is the preliminary reading of the 3rd Quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) early Thursday morning. The GDP is considered to be the benchmark measurement of economic growth because it is the sum of all goods and services produced in the U.S. and therefore is likely to have a major impact on the financial markets and mortgage pricing. There are three versions of this report, each a month apart. Thursday's release is the first and usually h as the biggest impact on the markets. Current forecasts call for a decline of approximately 0.5% in the GDP. If this report does show a decline, I am expecting to see the bond market rally and mortgage rates to fall.

There are three reports scheduled for release Friday. The first is the 3rd Quarter Employment Cost Index (ECI), which tracks employer costs for salaries and benefits. Rapidly rising costs raises wage inflation concerns and may hurt bond prices. It is expected to show an increase in costs of 0.7%. A smaller than expected increase would be good news for bonds and mortgage rates.

September's Personal Income and Outlays report will also be posted early Friday. This data gives us an indication of consumer ability to spend and current spending habits. It is important to the markets because consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. Rising income generally indicates that consumers have more money to spend, making econ omic growth more of a possibility. This is bad news for the bond market and mortgage rates because it raises inflation concerns, making long-term securities such as mortgage related bonds less attractive to investors. Analysts are expecting to see an increase of 0.1% in income and decline in outlays of 0.2%.

The week's last report comes at 10:00 AM ET Friday when the University of Michigan updates their Index of Consumer Sentiment for this month. Current forecasts show this index remaining nearly unchanged from this month's preliminary reading of 57.5. This index is important because it helps us measure consumer confidence, which is believed to indicate consumers' willingness to spend. Since consumer spending makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy, any related data is considered to be important.
When Joe The Plumber came to me asking when to lock in his mortgage for his newly purchased home. I had to answer the following:
Overall, it is difficult to peg a single day of the week as being the most important. The data being posted Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday is very important to the markets. The FOMC meeting is the single most important event of the week, but we may see noticeable movement in mortgage rates several days this week. Accordingly, please maintain contact with your mortgage professional.

If I were considering financing/refinancing a home, I would.... Lock if my closing was taking place within 7 days... Lock if my closing was taking place between 8 and 20 days... Float if my closing was taking place between 21 and 60 days... Float if my closing was taking place over 60 days from now... This is only my opinion of what I would do if I were financing a home. It is only an opinion and cannot be guaranteed to be in the best interest of all/any other borrowers.

You know what Joe's answer was?

I'll wait till after the elections...

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Super cool song

To all my SEO friends.

I made a new little info video and was browsing YouTube and stumbled upon this cool song.

Thought my friends of the Thirty Day Challenge would enjoy and I hope you all agree it's a change to all my posts on Real Estate.

Have fun,

Embedded Video

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Friday, October 24, 2008

Can I stay in My house once I am served foreclosure papers?

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The Florida Foreclosure Process

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Florida Foreclosures

Foreclosures happen in Florida when a homeowner is severely delinquent in payments or can no longer make payments on the mortgage. Any hardship can contribute to the foreclosure process beginning: an injury preventing work, the loss of a job, a divorce or other financial strains. Foreclosure is the process of the bank or lending institution getting the property back and reselling it to recoup their money.

Florida is a judicial state. This means that all foreclosures must use the court system for processing. Since banks differ and the courts are involved, the foreclosure process time line varies slightly between individual cases. The average time frame is five to six months from the beginning steps until the finalization of a foreclosure.

Steps Taken to Foreclosure

The first steps fall under the pre-foreclosure period. The mortgage holder is late with payment, but remain in the property while the foreclosure proceedings progress.

Notice of Default

The Notice of Default is the first indication of late payment. It is a written notice sent to the mortgage holder by the mortgage lender. It will state how much money is owed and how late the payment is. A Notice of Default will state what you need to do in order to become current on your payments and prevent foreclosure from happening.

Lis Pendens

Lis Pendens is Latin for "suit pending." [1] This may refer to any pending lawsuit or to a specific situation with a public notice of litigation in this case it is paperwork filed by the mortgage lender in the county courthouse. It states their intention to sue the property owners if they do not receive the mortgage monies. The court then creates the paperwork that notifies all parties involved about the upcoming lawsuit and the terms.

Notice of Action

Notice of Action is the next step in the foreclosure process. When a mortgage holder cannot pay the terms stated in the Notice of Default and goes further in delinquency, a Notice of Action is posted in the local newspaper. It states the mortgage lender’s written demands to be paid on their loan and their intent to take back the property if the payment is not made.

Once the Notice of Action is posted, the formal foreclosure process takes place.

Foreclosure Action

A foreclosure action, which is a lawsuit filed under the county where the property is located, is made. This states the intent of the mortgage company to evict the residents and take over ownership of the property. They will post the date and time of the auction where the property will be sold, anywhere from three to six weeks in the future.

Redemption

At any time before the auction of the property, the mortgage holder can take back the property if they can pay off the mortgage in full. If they can pay for the mortgage in full, the proceedings are halted and the mortgage holders can move in and reassume ownership of the property.

Sheriff’s Sale

The last step of the foreclosure process is the Sheriff’s sale. This is where the property is auctioned off to the highest bidder at the county courthouse. The price is low to begin, but can escalate if it is in a hot location. Once another bidder has won the auction and the property, the former mortgage holder has terminated all of their rights to the property. Within ten days of the successful sale, the title is transferred to the winning bidder.



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Staging tips to make your house stand out.

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Making Your House Stand Out in Today's Market As the real estate industry continues its downward trend, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sell your home. Prices have dropped, there are more listings than ever to choose from and sellers are giving incredible deals to buyers.
Here are a few tips to make your home stand out.

Curb Appeal Curb appeal is the first way to draw attention to your home. Since it is the first thing that anyone sees, you want the “WOW” factor. I know people that have bought houses just because of the spectacular landscaping. I also know people who have not even bothered looking inside of a house because of the condition of the exterior.
Make sure the exterior of the house is in tip-top shape so the potential buyer immediately wants to see the inside.
The following is your list of items to maintain curb appeal:
• Cut grass
• Trim all hedges and bushes
• Add mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch to beds
• Have flowering plants or potted flowers on the porch
• Keep junk out of sight and place in the backyard or in a shed
• Clean all cluttering debris such as sticks, garbage, old magazines, etc.
• Replace all the light bulbs surrounding the house
• Check the doorbell!
You want the inside of your house to wow potential buyers just as much as the outside. The following checklist gives ultimate interior appeal.
Make sure all items are completed before the first showing of your house is scheduled.
• Clean! Every floor, window, closet and cupboard!
• Remove excess clutter, toys, paperwork and knick-knacks. Clutter makes counter tops and rooms appear smaller than they really are.
• Paint the walls in dirty rooms or where a room needs brightening. Bright rooms give the appearance that they are more spacious.
• Make repairs to anything needed – hinges, doorknobs, plaster, steps, plumbing, etc.
• Replace all burned out light bulbs.
• Wash all window coverings. Open all of the curtains and blinds before a showing. Natural light makes a room appear bigger.
• Open the doors and windows before a showing to fill the home with fresh air.

When the inside and outside are clean and neat, you may need to provide a bigger incentive to your potential buyers. If the house has repairs that you didn’t have the time or cash to fix, you can offer credit towards the purchase price. That way, you acknowledge the repairs and give the buyer a discount for accepting the home as is.
Another option is to offer an allotment if your house needs new carpeting or flooring. Buyers like allotments because they get the item new, plus they get to pick out their colors. A win-win situation for everyone.
The time spent cleaning, making minor repairs, and providing incentives for major repairs, will make your home stand out above the competition.
Although these little fixes may require some time and effort, selling quickly in a tough market will be worth the effort in the end!


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Friday, October 17, 2008

If you have sold a property in a short sale are other properties you own at risk for the deficiency?

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You should not have a deficiency after a short sale.
Unless you have a previous foreclosure on your record.

That is just what short sale is all about.

Here is and extract out of one of the lenders approval letters:

"Lender or its investors will not pursue a deficiency judgment if the shortsale closes on the referenced loan. If the shortsale does not close, then the referenced loan secured by the Note and Security Instrument shall remain in full force and effect and we will pursue all remedies under the Note and Security Instrument."

It says clearly "no deficiency judgment", so you won't be pursued.

The beauty of the short sale is that it creates a win/win for everybody:
- The seller/borrower gets debt forgiveness and has no deficiency judgment against him. On top of that his credit report will show the debt as settled so that's not bad.
- The Lender does not have to spend $50,000 or more in foreclosure fees.
- The new buyer is getting a steal of a deal.
- The Realtor gets a commission out of the proceeds.

Isn’t that sweet?

So, don't worry, if the short sale is handled by a licensed professional then you should be having no problems afterwards.




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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Foreclosure advice to stay maried for life

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A TIP TO HELP YOU STAY MARRIED FOR LIFE, Even when Foreclosure papers are served to you or your spouse:

Don't Panic

If you have the tendency to panic when unexpected news comes your way, work on changing that behavior. Your spouse may fear telling you certain things because of your reactions. Your panic could be harming communication.

Just be proactive, read carefully what you are being served with, seek advice of a lawyers or real estate agent and act accordingly.

It's so important to stick together in though times that I just wanted to share this with you.

Check out our website for more info on short sales, deed in lieu and foreclosure.

Be strong, there are more important things in life that a house.



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Saturday, October 11, 2008

have to work on it

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One of the conditions of a short sale is that the seller/borrower does not receive any proceeds from the sale.

In a recent short sale agreement the lender wrote the following:

"The sellers will not receive any proceeds from this short sale transaction. If there are any remaining escrow funds or refunds they will not be returned to the seller, they will be sent to Countrywide to offset the loss"

Most lenders will ask you to sign an assignment of unearned premium refund. This is a document signed by the seller/borrower addressed to the insurer whereas the insured cancels the policy and requests the insurance company to refund to the Lender all unearned premium and or unpaid claims.

Unfortunately, you will not see any money coming back to you and I understand that, in a situation where you lose your home and also your down payment, all extra income is welcome.

But look at it this way, you won't have a deficiency judgment filled against you and the payoff will show up in your credit report as a partial payment and a settled debt.

With a successful short sale the seller/borrower will be able to get a new mortgage after 18 months. Not bad when you look at the loss that the lender takes.

That is why I recommend a short Sale as the best solution to people that are facing a hardship and are 'upside down' on the mortgage.


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Friday, October 10, 2008

Foreclosure on White House avoided thanks to Short Sale

It is a fact that when you don't pay the mortgage you are facing foreclosure.

And not everyone can print money to bail out...

On the other hand, what's the point for the bank to foreclose on a property when it is worth less than the mortgage?

In today's market more and more people have properties that are 'upside down' and there are many advantages for both lender as owner to find common grounds.

That's what happened to Bobby A. who bought a beautiful white house in Windermere, Florida.
He could not pay the mortgage anymore and was facing foreclosure when he got a letter in the mail from MonkeySold.
He decided to try and use the solution offered in the letter and two weeks later an open house was organized with a bidding process on the house.
This resulted in a contract on the house that could be submitted to the bank for a short sale.

Short sale is a great solution for people facing foreclosure because in that case the bank does not need to spend money on the foreclosure process, nor does it need to buy back the property and maintain it to further sell it at a bigger loss.

More and more people are coming to MonkeySold for help.
We have developed a processing system that reduces the time to get a response from the bank on a short sale by 50 to 70%, says Timothy Swider.
Timothy, who is one of the leading partners in MonkeySold, has put his airline pilot training to work in the company. By creating checklists and standardizing documents and processes he has turned the administrative heart of the company in a well oiled production machine. With state of the art technology, powered by Apple, the company now processes 10times more short sale files than when it started 6 months ago.

The company will handle more than 200 short sale files a month and is ready to take on more.

What are the benefits of selling your home in a short sale?
Besides of avoiding the hassle, costs and fear of going through a foreclosure procedure there is a much greater benefit. People can stay in their home until the sale is closed and notice will be sent to the credit bureau agencies to report the mortgage as "settled for less than the amount due' On top of that there are no fees charged for the program as all related costs are paid out of the proceeds of the sale.

So why wait?
Get that Monkey of your back now and call 866 614 6993 or visit www.monkeysold.com

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Get real after viewing this. Go Short Sale! Not for sensitive viewers.

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This is reality folks. If you are in trouble then don't let it come this far. There's something called 'Denial' ... get out of it, get real, ask for help. And most off all inform your spouse and loved ones. Facing foreclosure is hard, but with the right help and advise, it will just be one of those seasons in life. Let it pass, get through and move on. Helath, Love and Friendship are more important than a piece of property.

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Condo or Townhouse, the new Money Pit

Prices of Condo's have dropped significantly faster than single family home prices in Orlando.
The average single family home price is now $200,000, but the average condo price is $120,000. The problem is that as a owner of a condo you don;t have control over the condo fees.

Buying a condominium is not buying a free-standing, single family home. An element of politics enters your life when you choose to purchase a condo, as you will be turning over decision making on how the property will be maintained – or not maintained – to a board of directors. When you buy a condo, you become part of a condominium association, established by a declaration of condominium, with by-laws, rules, and fees, all governed by that board of directors.

A condominium is a legal concept where a group of people have banded together into a single economic unit, a community created as a corporation, which share the expenses for maintaining the common areas (sometimes called “common elements”) and separately, their own individual unit. Condo fees are established to maintain those common areas, and budget for major expenditures coming in the future.

Condo fees are established by the board of directors of the condo association, usually on an annual basis. They should take into account not only historical data on expenses, such as heating and lighting common areas, but also be forecasting future needs such as roof replacements and large projects that will face the association, as a whole, sometime in the future. The board also needs to adequately insure the common areas, so in case of a major catastrophe, the financial burden to the individual unit owners is limited.

These fees, or assessments, are charged to the individual unit owners on a regular basis, either monthly, quarterly, or annually. And sometimes, if the condo board has not been thinking ahead, via a special assessment that could literally bankrupt the individual unit owner and cause the condo association to foreclose on their unit for non-payment.


Condo fees will, inevitably, rise every year, since certain common area expenses will, inevitably, rise every year, too. Condominium fees (some call them “dues”) are akin to taxes, which (in a perfect world) are used for the common good, and improvement of the environment around you. Those dues also have legal weight, since if you fail to pay them, there is an automatic lien on your unit (usually) for the amount of those dues which the condo board has the authority to foreclose on.

Items common to every condominium budget:

* Utility expenses
* Common area maintenance expenses
* Common area reserves
* Insurance expenses
* Real estate taxes
* Audit fees

In larger condo associations, there may be income sources to consider, such as parking structures, pools, tennis courts, etc. The condo board determines whether or not those facilities will be available to the general public – for a fee – or solely available to the condo members and their guests. In some cases, there also may be ancillary facilities such as meeting rooms, party rooms, and such which the condo board can charge a fee for use.

Common area reserves are established for long-range planning – What happens when a critical component such as a central boiler or cooling system wears out, or the roof needs replaced?

The condo board can address the issue of the eventual failure of major components in one of two ways. They can ignore that eventually these components will fail, and put the full burden of that expense on the people owning units within the building at the time the component needs to be replaced; or, charge a projected amount, based on the expected life-expectancy of the component and the estimated cost to replace it to each unit owner annually, and invest those funds until such time as they are needed.

If the board fails to adequately reserve funds for the failure of a major component, they will be forced to levy a special assessment in order to pay for it. That special assessment could be a major hit, immediately due in full. This leaves the individual unit owner with the burden for planning, and saving, for that financial hit to occur.

This primer on condo fees, and what they cover, should prove valuable to you in analyzing whether condo ownership is right for you, whether a specific condominium association is where you want to be, and a good primer for a fledgling condominium board member struggling to understand what they’ve gotten themselves into by agreeing to be on the board.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why does a 90 year old woman shoots herself after being served with foreclosure notice?

Addie Polk, 90, of Akron, Ohio, became a symbol of the nation's home mortgage crisis when she was hospitalized after shooting herself at least twice in the upper body Wednesday afternoon.

This lady was terrified after being served with a foreclosure notice.

My advice is not to worry when you are getting served, you don't have to leave the house. Don't let people's horror stories frighten you.

Once you are served, and believe me you WANT to be served, you have 20 days to reply.

So...Just Reply!!

Please reply!!

Reply whatever you want, I suggest that you reply that you are working with a Realtor on a short sale and that the package is in the landers hands and that it is waiting to be signed off and that you are requesting for a 180 days delay in foreclosure to get the paperwork done.

And believe me or not you will get extra time

So don't panic but be proactive, work with your lender.

Ask advice from a legal counsel or from a licensed real estate agent,
These should have standard letters and specialized attorneys lined up to help you, just call us and remember don't panic!

CU
next time,
Monk




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